Oral Health Policy in Latin America: Challenges for Better Implementation


  •   Mariana Lopes Galante

  •   Gabriel Jaime Otálvaro-Castro

  •   Marco Antonio Cornejo-Ovalle

  •   Daniel Felipe Patiño-Lugo

  •   Nicole Pischel

  •   Amanda Iida Giraldes

  •   Fernanda Campos de Almeida Carrer


Background: Oral health is considered an important public policy. This study aimed to understand which barriers and facilitator occurs during the implementation of oral health programs/policies.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted within personal interviews with decision-makers, at the political, technical, and academic levels. Data were transcribed and analyzed using Maxqda®.

Results: The formation of dentists with an emphasis on the public service proved to be a critical knot, also the population´s lack of knowledge about their rights was mentioned. In Chile and Colombia, one of the main facilitators was the previous existence of oral health programs. As barrier, the lack of systematization of epidemiological data. In Brazil, the main facilitators were many dentists available and the political will of politicians to include oral health as public. Managers unprepared to work in public service was one of the main barriers.

Conclusions: During the development and implementation of public policies several factors are encountered, it can be concluded that human resources are fundamental elements for the functioning of public service, besides the interest of the managers and politicians for the inclusion of this theme in the political agenda of the country.

Keywords: Decision-making, Latin America, oral health, public health


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How to Cite
Galante, M. L., Otálvaro-Castro, G. J., Cornejo-Ovalle, M. A., Patiño-Lugo, D. F., Pischel, N., Giraldes, A. I., & Carrer, F. C. de A. (2022). Oral Health Policy in Latin America: Challenges for Better Implementation. European Journal of Dental and Oral Health, 3(2), 10–16. https://doi.org/10.24018/ejdent.2022.3.2.167

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